Drive to Kayseri

Trip Start Mar 26, 2011
Trip End May 01, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Turkey  , Cappadocia,
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Today was a traveling day.  I should have gotten up to see dawn on the mountain but even though I woke up, I stayed in bed, because it was a bit chilly even though we had a heater that was working.  I had on two of their kilim-design polyester cuddly blankets.  Breakfast was very nice with scrambled eggs, yogurt, as well as the usual olives, tomato, cucumbers and bread.  We have been running into instant coffee at our hotels lately. 

I was just about all packed and ready to go out the door when Erwin knocked so Betty and I were the last to get on the bus.  How did that happen?  I have been quite prompt all the other times.

We drove back down the windy mountain road.  I switched sides thinking I would be spared the views of drop-offs, but I wasn't.  It wasn't too bad though.  It was still kind of hazy at 8 am so photos won't be spectacular by any means.  I tried to take some of the rocks, green valleys, the different styles of houses, people working in the fields or in their yards.  I usually wasn't quick enough for the people though.  We retraced ourselves for awhile and then began on another road to get to our destination:  Kayseri.  It was going to be over 600 kms and took us until almost 6 pm.  At first we hit a lot of construction so that slowed us down.  Pretty much the whole way was through the Taurus mountains and the scenery was beautiful with the green valleys, rocks and snow-capped mountains.  We had some sunshine, some cloudiness and then rain at the end of the drive. 

It was interesting to see the sheep or horses, cows along the way.  Some people saw kites or other soaring birds but I did see the storks in one field.  They were white with black on their heads or necks.  It was also interesting to see the trees.  There are so many fields with newly planted trees.  They might be nut or fruit trees like we have seen before.  There also seemed to be pines planted in different areas as well as the trees that were growing on the slopes of the mountains, some of them sticking out of the rocks with no earth or ground apparent around them.   Several places we could see cut logs and in one place in particular there seemed to be a larger lumber-cutting operation.  Even though there were more trees planted, there didn't seem to be enough for a lumber industry.

We made several rest stops along the way so we got to see a variety of restaurants and gas station convenience stores.  Along this drive there weren't so many of the modern glitzy stations with large restaurants.  Our lunch stop was one of our favorites and Erwin said it was his favorite restaurant of the trip.  It was a little restaurant frequented by the truck drivers.  It had a few choices on the menu but most of us got the set meal of salad, bread, kebab.  I tried the carrot juice that Kamil recommended.  So far I have only drunk half.  It is spicy and has several vegetables in it including orange and black carrots, radishes and I am not sure what else.  If it were like V=8 juice, I think I would have liked it better.  I think you have to let it grow on you.  This place also had a campground with raised platforms with roofs and Betty loved the wooden sink made out of a log.  It had a mirror that frightened me when I looked at it.  My hair looks terrible.  We stopped at another restaurant that looked as if it should have beer steins lined up on the wall.  It was made of wood - rustic - like a Bavarian chalet - and the owner was reportedly now in Germany.

We are now at the Hotel Ayata in Kayseri.  Catherine reports that the sky is black and we are scheduled to go out to dinner at 7 pm ... in about 15 minutes.  Not much I can do about my hair now...I don't think.  I tried the wifi but it is not considered a secure network.  I will check with Betty to see what she had done.  I would like to communicate with my family...and see if I have any messages from them.  My other problem is that there is no plug-in for the computer except in the bathroom or by the TV where there is no place to sit so I will probably try the lobby later.

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